Boy, 11, reels in record setting carp

Credit: Win McNamee

Credit: Win McNamee

Chase Stokes picked up his first rod and reel when he was a year-and-half old.

Stokes was using nightcrawler for bait and shore fishing for anything that might bite in April when he felt the pole almost being pulled from his hands.

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He was fighting a state record carp.

"I was just about tired out and got it to shore almost and it took right back off," Stokes told the Rutland Herald."It did that about three times. I knew it was going to be the biggest carp I ever caught."

The 40-inch long fish weighed in at 33.25 pounds. Vermont Fish and Wildlife confirmed the catch recently, making it the new state record.

Stokes, a sixth-grader, is somewhat of a fishing prodigy.

“He loves to fish. That’s his life passion. It keeps him going. He fishes nonstop, every waking moment,” said Shawn Good, a fisheries biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “When he’s not in school, he has a fishing rod in his hand.”

Stokes has more fish in the state’s master angler program than any other fisherman, Good said.

“Since 2010, when we first introduced the program, we have accepted and approved 4,887 trophy fish entries,” Good said. “And Chase Stokes has 439 of those, almost 10 percent. But here is an even more interesting thing. All of his fishing is from the shore. People think you need a boat, but he’s doing all of this while fishing from the bank.”

And what’s Stokes’ favorite fish to land?

“I’d probably have to say it must be the carp, because they just fight so hard.”

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